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HOW TO: Make a .dds texture for 3dsMAX models

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Modding Tutorials & Reference' started by Duke van Frost, May 22, 2006.

  1. Duke van Frost

    Duke van Frost Lunatic Killer Robot

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    Here´s how I do it:

    First thing:

    You will need the texporter plugin which can be found under www.maxplugins.de


    We asume your Model is ready to go (I normally turn all objects into editable meshes and delete polys that can not be seen later in the game [the bottom for example]).

    Then you have to decide how many texture files you want to use (for my buildings I normaly use two - one for the buildings themself and all extra stuff like crates or barrels and one for the ground).

    After that you attach all objects together that will use the same texture file (select an object, right click on it and select attach, then click on all other object that will use the same texture).

    You then select the object and add "modifier -> UV Coordinates -> Unwrap UVW"

    screenshot:
    View attachment 127540

    Select this modifier in the object tree and select "Select Face"

    screenshot:
    View attachment 127541

    then push "EDIT" - it will bring up the mapeditor!

    This is where you can edit which part of the .dds graphic is used by which polygon/face

    Remember you selected "Select Face"? - this enables you to select polys in the viewports (aka mainwindow). select for example all walls of your building and (by holding done ctrl and clicking on them, you could also have marked "Select By Element" under the Selection Parameters of the Unwrap UVW modifier, try for yourself).

    Afterwards, in the map editor, click on "Mapping -> Flatten Mapping"

    screenshot:
    View attachment 127542

    click on OK in the popup.

    Now you will see the polys flattened.

    you can stitch them together if you want, experiment with it, it´s very usefull.

    screenshot:
    View attachment 127544

    do this for all polys on the object and sort them all into the darkblue lines in the mapeditor. (the borders of the .dds you will produce later)

    then open the texporter utility:

    screenshot:
    View attachment 127543

    select the size you want for your .dds file (128X128, 256X256, 512X512, 256X512 etc.) then click on "pick object" and select your object in the viewport. In the upcoming window click on the disk and save the file as a .dds.

    With this file you can work in your graphics-program.


    After you are happy with your texture file, apply it to your object the way Dual said:

    Render your Model, have a look at it, maybe edit the "Unwrap UVW" Modifier again to flip some Faces and then you´ll hopefully have your first masterpiece.


    I hope this helps and have fun!
     
  2. Killamike718

    Killamike718 Proud Maya User

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    Very helpful, would definantally like to see more tutorials with the same attention to detail
     
  3. Ploeperpengel

    Ploeperpengel academic precarity

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    Very nice just in time for me:)
     
  4. woodelf

    woodelf Bard

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    :wow:

    Thanks Duke and Dual. I finally put a DDS file and a model together.
     
  5. woodelf

    woodelf Bard

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    One little question about the dds file you create. When I first tried to put the model I made in game it showed pink even with the dds, nif file, and bound shape in the folder. When I resaved the model as a nif and included the textures it showed up fine in game. What do you need to do to have the dds file control the image in game. (in the case of skinning).
     
  6. Duke van Frost

    Duke van Frost Lunatic Killer Robot

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    you have to take a factor of 2 (128x128, 256x256, 512x512) for the .dds file.

    I can´t remember if it works with 128x256 etc.
     
  7. Ploeperpengel

    Ploeperpengel academic precarity

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    Some weapons have this yes. seems it needs to be just a division of 512. That means 128*256 will work with civ but 129*256 will produce crashes.
     
  8. Did you load that model in NIF viewer first, to see if the texture shows up? It could be a size thing like Duke says, or maybe you just made a typo in the texture name. :)

    Also, you don't need the "boundshape" files for it to work in game. It's only need for viewing the files in NIF viewer.

    It does. As long as the sides are powers of two any ratio will work. Only thing is, the bigger the difference between the sides the worse it is in terms of texture memory management and so performance suffers a bit. It's not too bad though, I often use 128x256 textures as it allows me to add a good deal of extra detail without quadrupling the texture. Also, even in vanilla I think I saw a spear texture that was something like 64x128.
     
  9. woodelf

    woodelf Bard

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    I'm not exactly sure what I'm doing wrong at the moment, but right now including the textures with the nif files isn't a huge deal (at least until someone else wants to skin them). Going from 10 to 95k isn't a huge file and at least I'm getting my simple stuff into the game.

    Thanks again guys.
     
  10. Duke van Frost

    Duke van Frost Lunatic Killer Robot

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    Maybe, If you export the files, you´ll have to choose "original skins or files" (don´t remember what this is called exactly) and remember to put the .dds files in the exact folder as the .nif file.
     
  11. LoneTraveller

    LoneTraveller Warlord

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    This is my 1st model and I'm experiencing problems. I can follow all the instructions fine but when it comes to the "stiching" part I get lost. The next step is also vague (moving the pieces). When I decide to skip this part and save the dds file...its all red with no discernable shapes.

    Any help is appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  12. Cruel

    Cruel King

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    Red bubbles is usually a problem with your xml - the wrong name for example.
     

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